Michelle Obama’s week long vacation to Africa and safari will cost U.S. tax payers between $700,000 and $800,000. For a one week vacation, this seems on the low side to me. That’s what the analysis at White House Dossier estimated. The site is NOT a liberal biased site, but I still think this is total is awfully low. The use of Air Force Two alone to and from Africa cost $430,000! The few lame stream media reports that came out about this little vacation mentioned that Witchell would go with her two daughters and her mother. It seems that the guest list got longer. They also took along the two kids of Michelle Obama’s brother Craig Robinson. It’s good to be queen.
Based on the plane’s tail number and a description of it in a press pool report, it’s clear Mrs. Obama flew over and back on a C-32, a specially configured military version of the Boeing 757 that also ferries the vice president on occasion and is sometimes known as “Air Force Two.”
According to publicly available Defense Department figures, DOD charges other federal agencies $12,723 an hour to cover expenses for the use of a C-32. Based on the distance traveled and the flight speed of the plane, this adds up to about $430,000 for use of the aircraft alone.
Perhaps the best estimate of the other costs involved in such a trip comes not from official sources but from a reporter, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. In a 2002 article, he wrote that his reporting had found that a single presidential fundraising trip within the United States by then-President George W. Bush could cost close to $100,000 for items like staff, Secret Service and advance work.